Recent Statuses

28 days ago
Current If it costs you your peace, it's too expensive.
2 mos ago
"I deal with that fact that I've forgotten the worst. I feel that my social behavior may seem somewhat unrehearsed. Another page, a sullen rage, and I'll be back to my normal self." BO
3 mos ago
Why ya'll talking about RPatt's career and not mentioning his role as Cedric Diggory smh.
3 mos ago
Every form of media feels so bleak... It's a sad day to be a woman in a misogynistic America. It's a sad day to be a schoolchild in a gun-happy America. It's a sad day to be a human on a dying planet.
4 mos ago
"...when we met in that ghost town... how it felt to be held & never let down. My lifeless touch was just the touch you were waiting for. My evil ways were always there, just couldn't see before." GT
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Most Recent Posts

A @GhostMami & @Hey Im Jordan Collab
Featuring: Sean, Selena, Alistair & Amanda Sterling
Location: Sunshine Diner
Time: Friday Evening

Sean was sitting behind the wheel of the Sterling family car, with his twin sister beside him, and their two younger siblings loaded in the backseat. The set of Sterling kids were on their way to a deliciously greasy, and oh so filling meal at the Sunshine Diner. “This is… a nice car. Everything back home is so nice… I forgot about it.” Sean commented, glancing over at Selena as he kept driving forward, his hands wrapped around the shiny leather steering wheel. “It’s good to be a Sterling, huh? Don’t knock your last name, kids.” He added, looking in the rearview mirror at his younger siblings.

“What about when Ma goes crazy?” Alistair asked, and Sean raised an eyebrow in the mirror, while Alistair looked out of the window sideyed, adding. “Like she surely will… when she finds out… that me and Mandy are missing… because no one told her.”

“You were supposed to tell her!”

“Yeah, but… I… I did not.”

Selena rolled her eyes. The twins were nothing but trouble, at all times. Always a nuisance. “I’ll text her.” She said, pulling out her phone and tapping away at the screen with ease.

“Nooo funnnnn!!!” Mandy whined from the backseat. “You’re so BORING!”

“I am not boring.” Selena snapped back, glaring in the rearview mirror. Why on earth did she let Sean convince her to take the kids? He was pampered with all of his time away from them, he still thought they were cute, or sweet, or whatever it was that he thought. That’s only because he didn’t live with this, all the time, twenty four-freakin’-seven.

“Sometimes it’s fun to see her go crazy, don’t you think, Sel?” Alistair asked, unbuckling his seatbelt to lean forward over the passenger’s seat and peer down at Selena’s cell phone, causing his older brother to glance over at the face that was now in between Selena and himself.

Oh man, Sean was going to have to bring the hammer down. These kids were crazy, weren’t they? He didn’t think it was going to be this bad! They behaved when he was hanging out with them back at the house! “Hey! Sit your ass back down, boy!” Sean snapped, which made Alistair freeze and do nothing other than blink, until Sean took a hand and put it on his kid brother’s chest and shoved him back into the seat, “And I’d better hear that seat belt buckle.”


Mandy looked over at Alistair and giggled at his scolding, sticking her tongue out at him. Selena looked absolutely smug, a small smile on her lips as she peered out the window. Their mother replied to her text, saying that it would have been nice to know that before she had the chef start preparing dinner, but she was glad that they were all getting along. If only she knew…

“Is this place going to have waffles? I want a whole stack of waffles. With chocolate chips! And whipped cream! And lots of syrup!”

“I think the last thing you need is that much sugar, but yes… they have waffles.” Selena responded without taking her eyes from the passing city streets.

“Who cares about sugar! Mom’s not here to bitch, and Friday night means no bedtime!” Mandy exclaimed and went to high five her twin brother because A) no bedtime and B) she just used a swear!


Her brother connected the high five and Sean’s hands tightened just a bit on the steering wheel. He didn’t have too much of a problem with the kids swearing; it would be kind of hypocritical, Sean had spent most of his time growing up at the academy swearing up a storm. He wasn’t going to complain about that, but… “Respect our mother. She does a lot for us. You’re making me sound like dad… Behave, guys.” Sean muttered, before he added, “I don’t mind if you swear when you’re hanging out with me, but be respectful at least. Now… that being said, you can have as much sugar as you want.”

“...whoa.” Alistair muttered, thinking about all the whipped cream he could pile onto his food. Maybe they’d even have caramel filled French toast!

“YESSS!” Mandy exclaimed with excitement.

Selena turned to look at her twin as if he had just committed the most egregious sin. He basically did, he just didn’t know it yet. “Oh… lovely,” she remarked sarcastically as the g-wagon pulled in to the parking lot of the Sunshine Diner. As the Sterlings all one by one stepped out of the vehicle, Sel turned to address her younger siblings before they entered. “You two seriously need to behave in here. This diner often serves celebrities, and they will kick you out if you are… well… yourselves. Contain your impish nature for an hour, and you can eat whatever you want, like Sean said.”

Mandy nodded when Selena was looking, but as soon as she turned her back, Mandy leaned over to whisper in Alistair’s ear. “Okay, mommm.” She mocked with a stifled snicker.

While Alistair stifled a giggle as they followed their older siblings into the diner, Sean glanced over at Selena and offered a word of advice. “Sel… maybe try talking to them more like… like they’re kids, y’know? ‘Impish nature?’ You sound like a grandmother. Just talk naturally to them, and they’ll be good.” He suggested.

Was her brother seriously patronizing her about how to handle the twins? She knew exactly how to deal with them, she wasn’t the one who spent months at a time in another country away from them. Narrowing her eyes, Sel got a bit snippy. “No, they won’t. And secondly, I shouldn’t have to dumb down my vocabulary to speak with them, they’re ten years old now. They’re Sterlings too, it’s about time they learn to speak with grace.” At that, Selena cleared her throat as they approached the hostess station, a bright smile now adorning her face. Picture perfect to the outside world, as always.

Sean glanced over at Selena and shook his head. If that was how she wanted to handle it… Without another word, he walked up to the podium and looked at the hostess, “table for four?” With a nod, the hostess led them off to a booth, and Sean led the way to the booth.

“I wanna sit on Sean’s side!” Alistair declared, calmly shuffling his way beside his older brother.

“No mee!” Mandy called out, shoving passed her older siblings and squeezing her way into the booth at the same time as Alistair.

“Looks like you’ll be sitting on each others’ side.” Selena replied simply as she gracefully took the inner seat on the opposite side of the booth, leaving the seat next to her open. “You might as well sit here Sean, or they’ll fight the whole time.” The hostess who was seating them chuckled quietly at the show the Sterlings were putting on.

Sean looked at Sel and nodded his agreement after a few seconds of contemplation. He took his seat beside his older sister, and the youngest brother let out a drawn out, over the top sigh. “That’s not fair…” Alistair muttered, and Sean shrugged his shoulders. “I always have to sit with Mandy! And Sel always gets to sit with Sean. You guys are twins. You were in a belly together!” Alistair didn’t have a big grasp on how pregnancy worked… but he knew that much!

“Who cares? I’m right here. It doesn’t matter that much. Plus, I’m letting you guys get whatever you want…” Sean said, shaking his head. He didn’t fully understand why the kids were the way that they were, but… whatever.

“While I get you guys some menus, can I get you something to drink? Maybe something for the kids to color—” The hostess was speaking now, but was cut off before she could finish.

No! We’re not babies. Alistair protested with an annoyed huff. Mandy gasped in an equal amount of offense. They were ten! Two whole numbers, they didn’t need coloring books!

“Alistair!” Selena scolded her brother in a curt whisper. “Sorry about that,” Sel said to the hostess now, smiling apologetically. “I’ll have an iced tea, unsweetened, please.”

“I’ll have hot cocoa, please.” Mandy requested in her best attempt at politeness. It wasn’t half-bad. “With whipped cream and cinnamon on top. Thank you!”

Alistair was putting on a bad show. From unbuckling his seatbelt in a moving vehicle, to snapping at the hostess. It was a combination of Selena’s scolding, and Sean’s hard gaze that made him uncomfortable enough to straighten up and look between Selena and Sean, deciding that he could test the ‘you can have whatever you want’ theory. “...can I have a cookies n’ cream milkshake, please? With whipped cream and Oreos on it.” He looked up at the hostess, but noted that her eyes were instead focused on Sean, and Alistair’s gaze followed hers… and Sean nodded! “Thank you!” A whole milkshake! What a lucky ducky. That’s what dad would say.

Sean looked at the hostess and thought for a moment. “I’d like the hot cocoa as well. And… can you bring me one of those coloring things?” He asked, and when Alistair looked like he was going to protest, Sean silenced it by raising a hand and adding, “Calm down, turbo. It’s for me. I like to color.”

Wait. Sean liked to color?! This changed things. Alistair had a somewhat confused look on his face as he glanced between Sean, Selena, and Mandy alike, wondering what to say next. Did they color now too? He was only ten, he wasn’t supposed to think about stuff like this.

Young Alistair was interrupted from his thoughts by frantic jabbing in his ribs. Mandy was poking him, stunned in silence, looking like she’d seen a ghost. If his eyes were to follow her gaze, he would see a very familiar face — one of the stars of their favorite tween tv shows. “Is that…?” She asked in a ghost of a whisper. It was Blake Milton, the male lead in the latest hit tv show about super-powered high-schoolers trying to secretly live their double lives. Alistair idolized Blake’s character, while Mandy’s bedroom wall boasted posters of him with heart stickers all over them. To say the kids were starstruck was an understatement.

The waitress returned with their beverages and Selena took a smug sip of her iced tea before saying, “I told you celebrities came here.” Maybe now they would finally behave and she might be able to enjoy this little family meal with her brother.

Ehhh you know what, I said I wouldn't, but I lied because I have a character in the vault that I never got the chance to play, so I'm in.

If reservations are a thing:

Name: Eden Alyse Bell
Age: 16 (camper)
Faceclaim: yepitsstilltori // Tori Dobransky

Color: 615b95

~ Ghost

A @GhostMami & @smarty0114 Collab
Featuring: Mamie
Time: Saturday Afternoon
Location: The Callaghan Residence

As Jamie whirled throughout his room, picking up discarded clothes and empty cups, he had to remind himself that this wasn’t a second date. It was just a casual hang out session. His parents were both gone with the twins, Katie was out with Joy, and Jamie had the house all to himself. Then again, what if Marshall thought it was a second date, and then when he got up to Jamie’s room, he decided that he didn’t want to be with such a slob? With that thought haunting him, he figured it’d be easier to treat it as a second date.

Jamie had texted Marshall shortly after he’d gotten home from his meeting with Trixie. He wanted to talk to someone who made him smile, like legitimately smile. Plus, there was the tiny matter of his contractual obligation to keep Marshall away from Owen Lyon. That was gonna be a doozy. But, there’d also probably be kissing, and Jamie liked that. The idea of kissing Marshall made him smile, a wistful, dreamy smile like he used to when he’d been with AJ. He couldn’t help the laugh that burst from his lips, a storm of amusement brought on by his sudden realization of how different his life had been a week ago. It was as if two years had gone by since the New Years party at Damian’s.

Marshall’s Saturday morning had went well. Better than expected, actually. Confronting Ophelia hadn’t been the big bad that he’d thought it would be, they even ended their time together with laughs and smiles. He was supposed to go back to her house to see Trix, but… boyfriendly duties called him elsewhere. When Jamie had texted him shortly after Ophelia and he had paid for their lunch, Marsh practically jumped at the opportunity to take a rain check. Especially after having just heard that Owen paid him a visit last night.

The chestnut-haired boy tapped out a nervous beat on his steering wheel as he thought about what that visit might have entailed. Jamie was obviously okay enough to want to see him. That was good, right? Or maybe he was getting invited over as a comfort call. He could play nurse for a little while. Marshall chuckled at the thought of himself in one of those risqúe nurses outfits, and then wondered if Jamie would be into that kind of thing. He didn’t know what kinds of things Jamie was into, but the new-romance butterflies in his stomach had him feeling excited and eager to discover them all. Maybe today could involve a learning experience or two.

With that thought in mind, Marsh pulled into the driveway with a grin. He only saw Jamie’s car parked and curiously wondered where everyone else was. He looked up at the sizeable house and smiled in anticipation of meeting up with the pretty boy inside of it. Marshall did his best to smooth out his air drying hair, but he didn’t put any product in it after his post-dance shower, so it was pretty hopeless at this point. Oh well, if they were to be boyfriends they were bound to be seeing each other in less put together states. Marshall knocked on the front door in a musical five note count — tap tap taptap tap — and waited to be let in.

Marshall’s knock sent Jamie’s heart off, going from a gentle pulse to a sudden and furious beating. He took a deep breath and reminded himself that Marshall was just as into him as he was into Marshall. He ran a hand through his sandy locks before heading out of his room and down the stairs, taking them two at a time in his current state of anxious excitement. The first time AJ had been over while everyone was gone, they’d had sex, lots of it, and in many different places. He wasn’t expecting that, but, you never really knew. Taking one last deep breath, he swung open the large door that separated the inside from the out. The wrought iron and frosted glass gave way to Marshall, standing there looking just as cute as he had when Jamie dropped him off. “Hey,” he said, grinning like an idiot.

“Oh good," Marshall replied and brushed his thumb along Jamie's cheek. “You're still handsome." He said in regards to the lack of any additional bruising on his boyfriend's face. Marsh returned the smile and greeting as he dropped his hand back to his side, “Hey. Feels told me about your visitor last night."

Jamie’s smile faltered slightly. He shook his head and chuckled. “Word travels fast in this town,” he said. He turned and gestured for Marshall to follow him inside. The entryway of Jamie’s home was well furnished, and nothing short of elegance. On the left, a staircase wound it’s way up the wall, and led to the second floor. Below, cushy armchairs, a grand piano and an ornate marble fireplace made the foyer seem like the perfect setting for an over the top dinner party. Jamie could say pretty confidently that it was.

“You're one to talk, Mr. Gossip Columnist." Marshall teased light-heartedly and followed behind Jamie. He took in the opulent decor in silence, mentally noting that his boyfriend really did live in a bit of a different world from himself. If Marshall's parents were still together, he might have a home somewhat close to this, but they weren't, so, he didn't.

Jamie turned and smirked at Marshall. “Everybody gossips, Marsh. It just so happened that my job was to collect that gossip and put it down on paper.”

Passing through the entryway brought them to the family room, where a leather sectional rested behind a glass coffee table. A large flat screen hung on the wall in front of the couch, flanked by a multitude of pictures of the Callaghan family. His dad posing with his colleagues at an ASMR banquet, his mom with her first Emmy, him and Katie and the twins on every first day of school. His mom had done her best to fill this room with memories. Jamie took a seat on the couch, sinking into the leather cushions. “You’re right though, Owen did come by. He wanted to talk to my mom about the article,” Jamie’s head fell back as he let a laugh fly from his mouth. “He’s not even in the damn thing for more than three sentences, but who gives a fuck about that? Right? The article is about Hailey Fucking Green, yet everyone’s making it about Owen Fucking Lyon! I make Owen look better than he has in forever and he repays me by telling on me? Like fucking kindergarden all over again.” Jamie sighed, feeling the anger drain out of him as his rant ended. “I’m sorry, it’s just been a long couple of days. But I’m happy to see you, really.”

Marshall took a seat beside him on the couch, tucking one of his legs underneath himself because that's how he usually sits when comfortable. The couch was cozy and the nearby fireplace lead Marshall's romantic mind to color scenes of them cuddled up together under a blanket watching the fire on cold nights. If only they had been dating sooner, then they wouldn't have to wait nearly a year for Christmas lights to set the mood even more. Jamie's rant brought him back to the present and Marshall listened attentively. He'd already said his piece on what he thought about the article, there was no use beating a dead horse, especially when Jamie clearly had some regrets. “Feel better now?" He asked with a soft smile. If you angrily say versions of the word 'fuck' enough times, it's basically therapy. “I'm happy to see you too, it's been crazy. What can I do to make it better?"

“A little,” Jamie said, grinning at Marshall as he took his hand and squeezed. He’d forgotten what it was like to be with someone, to want and be wanted. It was such a welcome rush that for a moment, he was able to push his anger to the background. He leaned forward and kissed Marshall, gently at first, and then with more passion. Kissing Marshall was the closest thing he’d gotten to a natural high since AJ. One moment they were sitting up and the next they were falling onto the couch, lips locked and hands running all over, working on instinct and teenage lust. Finally he pulled away, taking in a breath. He smiled wistfully at Marshall, toying with a piece of his dark hair. “That helped,” he said, laughing.

“Happy to be of service.” Marshall replied, his voice a little raspy from the sudden rush of hormones. Jamie was a whirlwind, one minute he was angry and the next they were locking lips in a way that left Marshall breathless. Did this happen every time Jamie got angry? Because that would be kinda hot. The dancer leaned forward and stole another quick kiss before sitting back up and looking around. “Not that I mind making out here, but can I see the rest of your house?” Marshall by nature was a little nosey, but also, he wanted to see more of what made Jamie… Jamie. There were some first day of school pictures on the walls, which were adorable, but Marsh had a feeling those were just the tip of the iceberg.

Jamie grinned. There was the difference between Marshall and AJ. Nine times out of ten, AJ would have picked making out. Marshall wanted to know about him, though. There was something far more satisfying about that. He stood up and took Marshall’s hand to lead him through the house. He gave him a quick glance of the dining room, where a large family photo hung on the wall. Personally, he hated the thing. They were all dressed to the nines, and looked so prim and proper. Nothing like the chaos that was normal for them.

After the dining room, Jamie led Marshall upstairs. The first door on the left was his room, but he walked down to the end of the hall to show off the game room. Inside, toys from the twins were strewn everywhere. Three large bean bag chairs dominated the room, each big enough for at least two people and a large TV was set up against the wall. Nextdoor was his parents' room, and then the twins’. They took quick peeks inside of those as well as Katie’s before Jamie swung open the door into his own room.

“Yeah, so, uh, here’s where I sleep” Pictures of Jamie posing with various people were hung across the walls, with the majority of them clustered above his head board. Selena and Katie made plenty of appearances, as did his parents. There was one that showed him and Selena posing with Trixie and Owen at the Halloween Carnival, what felt like a million years ago. He took a seat on the bed, looking around. To him this was just his room. He’d woken up here for the past seventeen years of his life, it hardly interested him anymore. He knew that Marshall was seeing it all for the first time, and so his gaze followed Marshall’s, hoping he could see whatever it was the theatre star was seeing for himself.

Marshall followed beside Jamie obediently, grinning from ear to ear at the warmth of Jamie’s hand holding his. There wasn’t any awkwardness or hesitation, Jamie just took both his hand and the lead with a confident ease that sent Marshall’s heart aflutter. He enjoyed the tour of Jamie’s home, soaking in all of the photos and decor — particularly the family photo. The Callaghan’s certainly cleaned up to look like the picture perfect family, but Marsh knew both Katie and Jamie, and assumed this snapshot was not an accurate depiction of the everyday life of the loud and opinionated siblings’ family.

The house tour ended in what was arguably the most exciting destination for Marshall. Jamie’s room. He took in everything: the sights, the textures, the smell. It was a perfectly fitting space for his beloved newsie. Being a bit of a bookworm himself, Marsh was drawn first to the bookshelf. He trailed his fingers along the shelves as he scanned the titles with a smile. Jamie’s collection was far less embarrassing than Marshall’s, he wondered if he would be judged for that in the future. His eyes next found the desk where Jamie had no doubt sat writing many an article — it was a simple, efficient, and masculine workspace. Lastly, Marshall sat at the edge of Jamie’s bed and looked at all of the pictures above the headboard. His gaze naturally lingered on the photo with Owen and Trixie and, for the first time since the couch kissing, his smile faltered slightly. Quickly recovering, he looked away towards all of the other photos.

“Selena is like… stupid pretty.” Marshall stated of Jamie’s best friend. He knew Sel a little bit because they ran in similar social circles, but the girl was quite the mystery. Truth be told, he knew very little about her, and as far as he could tell she didn’t really open up to people. Except for perhaps Jamie. “I can’t believe she’s never had a boyfriend. But, I mean, even us Candies are at a loss as to who to ship her with so I guess that’s why...” There was the failure attempt with Kit, but that was just as described: a failure.

Jamie laughed, simply because he was alone in his room with his boyfriend and they were talking about Selena. She’d love that. “Selena is not an especially easy person to impress,” Jamie said, smirking as he remembered the multitude of men that Selena had shot down. “Not to say that plenty haven’t tried.” Jamie brought his hand up to his mouth and began chewing on a fingernail, before quickly bringing it back down in an effort to curb his least favorite habit. He had to bring up Owen. “Have you talked to Owen at all?”

“Not since the world’s worst family dinner Wednesday night.” The night just before Jamie’s article, but he didn’t need to bring that up again. They’d already talked about it. The curious thing was why Jamie was asking him about it. “Why? Did he… say something about me last night?” Marshall’s voice was more hopeful than it probably should be. “I had lunch with Feels today and she said that I should give it another shot because things are going well with him and Trix, so I probably will. Ya know, when it’s not so fresh…”

Was there a good way to tell your boyfriend that you are currently contractually obligated to keep him away from his ex-best friend? Jamie had decided that there wasn’t. Once again, he found himself between a rock and a hard place. “Maybe you shouldn’t. See Owen, I mean.” He took a deep breath. “I saw Trixie today and she more or less said that you should stay away from him.” Turns out the best way to tell your boyfriend about your contractual obligation is to not tell him. A little white lie couldn’t hurt anyone.

“Wh-what?” Marshall was stunned speechless — truly a rarity for the king of drama. His eyes studied Jamie’s face and then looked down, clearly a little heartbroken. Pix… Pix wouldn’t say that. Would she? Was it because he was dating Jamie now? What had changed since the last time they talked? Heartbreak turned into denial. “No.” Marsh shook his head back and forth to solidify his point. “No, I’m not going to do that. I’m not a coward and I’m not just going to give up. I love him, Jamie.”

Fuck. Fuck. FUUUUUCK. Easy was clearly not in the vocabulary of whatever vengeful deity had placed Jamie on this Earth. “I really don’t think that’s a good idea, Marsh. Owen’s fucking unhinged! You should know that better than anyone,” he said. He placed a hand on Marshall’s shoulder in an effort to ease the pain of the dilemma that he’d just introduced to him. “You shouldn’t have to explain yourself to him anyways. You did the best you could with the information presented to you, we all did,” Jamie said. How hard was it to get one juiced up psychopath out of his life?

Marshall’s facial expression softened. Of course Jamie was scared, Owen had beaten him over this whole situation. Jamie was just being protective of his new boyfriend, and that was obviously a bit endearing to his hopelessly romantic heart. Marsh put his hand on top of the one Jamie had placed on his shoulder and squeezed it. “I didn’t, I should have been a better friend. I should have listened to his side before assuming, and I’m owning that fuck up. It’s sweet that you want to keep me safe, but I’ll be okay, I promise.” At that, Marshall brought Jamie’s hand to lips and kissed it. As far as he was concerned, that was the end of this conversation. Also as far as he was concerned, Jamie was just being a caring boyfriend, not a contractually-bound liar.

Jamie’s insides were a tangled mess as he struggled to find a solution out of this predicament. Clearly, Marshall wasn’t going to just let Owen go, which would have been the ideal series of events. He could just let Marshall go talk to Owen, and hope it went well. Of course, if it didn’t, who was to say Trixie wouldn’t get him for breach of contract and make his life hell. Who was to say this all wouldn’t go very, very wrong? “What if I went first? To at least soften the blow,” Jamie said, an insistence in his voice that wasn’t commonly heard. Jamie had no desire to talk to Owen again, but if it meant he could sweep this entire thing under the rug, he’d do it.

That made Marshall laugh. “Soften the blow?" He asked with an amused smile and touched Jamie's cheek. “He's far more likely to hit you than me, sweetheart." Marsh leaned forward to kiss Jamie reassuringly. “I promise I'll be okay. Now, let's do something else, I didn't come here to talk about Owen."

Jamie sighed and dropped the topic. He wasn’t going to win this, and it was better that he stop trying now, rather than drag it out. He could figure this out, he’d just have to think on it later. He turned his look of defeat into a smile quick enough and kissed Marshall again. “Did I mention that I’m now editor-in-chief of the Black and Orange?” Jamie said, in the moment between the gentle meeting of their lips.

Marshall pulled away with a wide-eyed expression. “No way! Really?” He asked excitedly, knowing how much Jamie wanted that position. “Congratulations! How’d you manage that so soon? Did Trix step down?”

“More or less. She told me that if I got her the story on Owen that I could have the position, and I mean, I did that. So I told her to hold up her end. It was the least she could do after having her attack dog show up at my house,” Jamie said grinning with the talk of his achievement. No matter what anyone else said about his methods, he’d earned this.

The drama king stared with his mouth agape for a few moments. “That’s…” He tried to find the most gentle words, but they wouldn’t come. “That’s kind of fucked up. Ya know, like, in retrospect, I hope you can see that. I mean, I’m happy that you got your dream position but I also really hope use it to be better and turn away from fucking with people like that.”

Jamie looked at Marshall, pain flashing across his face. “Marshall, I did my job! A week ago, everyone thought Owen Lyon was a cheater and you know what I did? I told everyone he wasn’t! I cleared his fucking name, and I gave everyone a good enough reason to stop letting Hailey Green run the school like Nazi Germany. Should I have stopped and waited to make sure Hailey’s feelings didn’t get hurt? Hailey, who drugged me at Damian’s party?” Jamie stood up and began pacing the room. His voice was shaky, and exasperated, but he kept as calm as he could. As much as he wanted to scream, he didn’t. “Or maybe Ophelia? She went along with the whole thing, but sure, let’s act like she’s the fucking victim here! I didn’t fuck with anyone who hasn’t fucked with anybody else!”

Jamie collapsed into a chair across the room, a great sigh rushing out as his head fell into his hands. Just as quickly as the anger had come, so did the embarrassment and shame. “Why are we even arguing about this? Is that what this is always gonna be? Me, paying penance for this stupid article? Because truth be told, I’d do it over again. I’m sorry if that sounds shitty to you, but the world isn’t just handing out opportunities. You have to make your own.”

Marshall blinked in surprise at that outburst. He matched Jamie’s fire with a tone as calm and cool as a flowing stream. “We aren’t arguing, Jamie. I didn’t even raise my voice. I’m just saying that was fucked up. Yes, the people involved in the situation all messed up in their own way, but an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Using drama and hurting people to get ahead is shitty, even if those people have their own faults. You can be better than that. You can make a positive mark on the world and seek opportunities that benefit others in addition to yourself.” The brown-haired boy got up from the bed and walked over to his clearly disgruntled boyfriend and sat in his lap. Draping his arms over the other boy’s shoulders he looked him square in the eye. “The paper is yours now, make it better than it was before. I know you can, I believe in you.”

“I am, you know. Gonna make it better I mean.” Jamie rested his head on Marshall’s shoulder as a soft smile crept across his face. “I’m gonna cut the gossip column out, and I’m gonna put a bunch of new rules in. It’s gonna be different now,” he said. He had fucked up, he’d been fucking up for a while now. That didn’t mean it had to stay that way.

“Good.” Marshall replied with a genuine smile. He felt overcome with a warm and fuzzy feeling when Jamie rested his head on his shoulder. Marsh brought a hand up to comb his fingers through the messy blond locks and leaned in to kiss the top of Jamie’s head. With his nose buried in his hair, Marshall breathed in the scent of Jamie’s shampoo and sighed happily. “I can’t wait to read it.”

A @GhostMami & @Hey Im Jordan Collab
Featuring: Marshall & Ophelia
Location: Hello Bistro
Time: Saturday Afternoon

Early morning sunlight peered through the sheer silver curtains in Marshall’s room. He blinked open his eyes and rolled over, his cheek brushing against fabric that was most certainly not the same thread count as his bedding. Realizing what it was — his jacket from date night — he smiled and bunched it up against his face just as he did last night. The scent of Jamie’s cologne was gone, but the memories were still there to brighten up his morning. Yawning, he sat up and reach for his phone — which was no longer on the end table, but in his bed… having gone the whole night without charging. The battery was low, but he could just bring his charger to dance. Which reminded him…

Marshall let out a deep sigh, seemingly coming all the way up from his toes, and stared down at his phone. He had let himself enjoy his perfect date, but now it was time to face facts. Facts that his now-boyfriend had carelessly written for the entire school to read. Facts that broke Marshall’s heart after already having broken his friendship with Owen. With another begrudging sigh, Marsh tapped out a quick text his best friend, his Candyland Queen. If she could still be those things which, despite his heartbreak, he hoped she could be. He wasn’t ready to lose another friend over this shit.

To: Feels
can we meet up for lunch?

It was still pretty early for a Saturday morning, but whatever. Marshall was an early bird and he had dance practice to get ready for. Having sent the text, he chucked the phone on his bed and started to do his morning routine.

The reply took a moment to show up in Marshall’s phone — and it was certainly expected. It was early, and the Candyland Queen had a long Friday. Between meeting with Trixie, and going to the Lyon house to talk to Kylie… She had been emotionally exhausted, and beyond tired when she went to sleep, but she wasn’t up late.

She was just scared to respond. She was scared of what Marshall would have to say, scared of how he would say it, and even scared of how she’d reply. A meeting for lunch was terrifying to say the least, but she knew she had to say yes. She had to face it one way or the other…

To: Gumdrop
yeah, sure. where and when?

Wow, even sending that text was stressful.

All washed up and ready to go, Marsh picked up his phone and glanced at the screen. There were a few notifications, one of which appeared to be a text. He felt a nervous ball form in his stomach as he looked down at the screen and clicked the button to read it. Well… that seemed like a fine enough response, he guessed.

To: Feels
i have dance soon so…
how about noon at the Hello Bistro near the mall?

With that sent, he headed off to the dance studio in his little purple Mini.

Ophelia had been to the Hello Bistro before; it would not have been out of line to say that it was the most popular lunch destination for her and her little group, but never before had it seemed so big. Maybe Ophelia just felt small? Facing her problems, her mistakes, and her bad decisions with Trixie and Cassandra had been easy, but with Marshall? Ophelia’s actions had hit him worst of all. She’d taken away his best friend, and left one of his others heartbroken.


Ophelia lifted up the glass of water in front of her, and took a sip of it. Geeze, was the water colder than she remembered? She should have taken the time to do her hair. She looked out of place, and ever so slightly undone, so to speak. Ophelia hadn’t taken the time to put herself completely together, because the truth was she’d had trouble willing herself out of bed. She was scared to face Marshall! It was scary, she’d have to tell him that, yes, his boyfriend was in fact right. Ophelia had indeed done it all, like some kind of wormtongue.

Maybe Mom had a point, maybe she should have been a comic nerd this whole time. At least there was no drama and no temptations in that group. Ophelia sat the water down and waved the waitress away. “I’m still waiting for someone.”

“Honey, you’ve been sitting here for forty minutes now —”

“I was early!”

Marshall, however, was not early. He wasn’t late, just on time, which was basically late. Especially now that he was sitting in the driver’s seat of his parked car staring at the Hello Bistro logo as if it had just insulted him. His hair was wet from his post-workout shower, his legs were cramping from dancing, and his stomach was doing somersaults because this conversation already sucked and it hadn’t even started yet. Unless the texts to plan this counted…

After taking a deep breath and exiting the vehicle, the drama king made his way into one of his favorite restaurants. Maybe the tastiness of a Quinoavocado salad would make this whole thing easier to face. If he even had the stomach to eat right now. He spotted his blonde bestie and sat down quietly at the table. Nervously, he toyed with his damp hair in an attempt to get it out of his face. “Hey…” He started simply.

Well, there he was. Now came the hard part, of talking about things. What was she supposed to say? How was she supposed to open here? Marshall already had the story, or at least parts of the story that Jamie had told. Ophelia certainly wasn’t going to lie, she’d lied enough in the past, and she was done with that, but where did she even begin? How did she begin? Why was this even so hard?

“Hi.” She said finally, before looking down at the table again. Part of her wished that the waitress would come back so that Ophelia could show that she hadn’t been stood up, but she did her best to push the thought away. That inherent pettiness was Hailey’s training, not Ophelia herself. “Uhm… it’s good to see you.” Ophelia was starting out slow, carefully.

She couldn’t possibly mean that. They both knew how awkward this was, it didn’t feel good for either of them. This wasn’t good. But… might as well get right to it. Quick like a band-aid. “I don’t really like beating around the bush, so I just wanna know…” What did he want to know? Marshall scratched at his chin. “...why?” There were a lot of why’s. Why did she do what she did? Why choose cheating, when she knew how much that triggered him because of his dad? Why not tell him? Why let him believe the lie and sever the bond of his only healthy male friendship? So many why’s… he wondered briefly which one she would answer, if any.

That was a loaded question, and Ophelia had to think about how to ask it. She lifted up the glass of water and pulled it up to her lips. “Well… let me just start at the top, the very top. The root of the issue.” Ophelia figured that was as good as any. “Before I go too hard, just know that I accept full responsibility for my actions, absolutely. I’m a big girl, I made choices. But, Hailey Green is insane. Like, really and truly psychopathic. She never really liked Owen, because she thought that Owen ‘threatened the balance,’ like she was a Jedi and he was a Sith or something… I don’t know, she’s crazy. Anyway, after Owen butted heads with her during the whole thing with Quincy, who just went by her regular name back then — Jennifer Hart, remember? — Hailey decided that Owen needed to be done away with, and that he didn’t fit in with the group.”

Ophelia shrugged. Hailey was right, at least on one point. Owen never really did fit in with the group that he was hanging with back then. He was… different, and he fought Hailey on almost everything. “So, she came to me to do it, because I’m… you know, I’m good with people, and figuring out the best way to… make them happy, or make them not happy. I knew what I had to do to get Owen out, and the fact of the matter is, I could either agree with Hailey, or I, myself, could get declared ‘excommunicado,’ like fucking John Wick. Only for me? There wouldn’t be a little dog following me around and making me happy. I’d just be… sad and lonely. Because she would alienate and ostracize me, because that’s what she does, Marshall. So I did what I told her I was going to do. I didn’t tell anyone, because I couldn’t tell anyone. It was delicate, it was scary, it was dangerous. It was a ticking time bomb, and it was stupid and idiotic of me to do it, but I just… I didn’t feel like I had a choice.” She took another drink from the glass of water. Ophelia was making more references to the ‘secret side’ of herself, the nerdier side was coming out a little bit. If nothing else, the situation had made her more comfortable with who she was.

“Anyway, I did it the way that I did it because I knew that was easiest. It was reliable, it worked. It worked really well, it worked too well. It set off a snowball of reactions, and now that the time bomb has went off, I’m just waiting for the dust to settle so I can see what’s left. It’s scary. It’s not fun. I wouldn’t do it again if I had the chance, but I don’t, and all I can do now is accept the consequences of my actions and decisions. I wish you figured it out some other way, I told Trixie myself. I would have liked to tell you too.”

“But… you didn’t. And I think that hurts the most, Feels.” Marsh sighed and shook his head in disappointment. He took a sip of the water sitting in front of him, which had a hell of a lot of condensation. How long had she been here for? “You said you’re taking responsibility, but following it up with all those excuses doesn’t sound like it. Hailey is just a person, Ophelia. A regular, mortal, high school girl. Just like you. Sure, she’s scary, but that’s no excuse for it. You would absolutely not have been sad and lonely, you would always have me. She doesn’t control everyone’s opinions, at least not your best friends. Those of us that matter, the Candies, we would always be there for you.”

He sighed again. Once the words started flowing, they wouldn’t stop. Marshall had a lot of emotions bottled up concerning this. Months worth of emotions. “You know who is fucking scary? In an actual lethal way? Owen Lyon. He almost beat the shit out of me, Feels. Because of this, because of what you made all of us believe. I saw it in his eyes, he wanted me fucking dead. And he did beat the shit out of Jamie — granted, he kinda had that coming given his big mouth. I had dinner at his house the other night and I honestly kind of wish he had killed me at that point, because it went terribly. His family hates me, he hates me, I hate me for believing any of this shit.” He groaned into the palms of his hands and rubbed his face.

Well, Marshall had a point. Owen Lyon was pretty violently scary. The lethal kind of scary, and he had almost killed Marshall.. and he did come pretty close to obliterating Jamie. But that wasn’t necessarily Ophelia’s fault! Owen just had anger issues, and that wasn’t her fault, but she did trigger him… maybe this was on her. She sighed and shook her head. “You’re right, I fucked up. I did! That’s on me. Owen lost his mind, and he’s crazy and dangerous, but he’s fine now. I’m fine with everyone but you, and there’s not even anything I can do other than to apologize over and over and over. I’m sorry, I am. I’m at a wall, though, I don’t know what else to do.” Ophelia muttered, picking up the cup of water once more. She didn’t drink it though, she just lifted it up and looked at it, averting her eyes from Marshall. “I hurt… everyone I loved. I messed the fuck up, I did everyone dirty. I just want everything to be okay.” She sat the glass down, and then looked up, trying to brighten.

“There is some good news, though.”

“It’s… fine.” Marshall said, picking up his water again as well. “Just don’t do something like that again, you bitch.” He said, smirking over the rim of his glass. A little bit of his normal self shining through. Setting the glass down and swallowing, he asked: “What’s the good news? I could use some. Well, I have some of my own too, but you first.”

“Cassie and I… are a thing now.” Ophelia said, looking up with a little smile. At least there was that to take from this that wasn’t a bad thing! Even if she and Marshall were arguing — although it seemed like they had made up! — the important thing was that she had someone in her life now. It was a new feeling, a fresh one… something she hadn’t felt before, despite all the preaching she did about love, and how pure of a feeling it was. “What’s your good news?” She asked, leaning forward. Gossip! They were on the right track.

“No shitttt. Two candies dating, huh?” Marshall mused at the thought. Cute, Cassie was a sweet girl. Hopefully this would keep Ophelia feeling confident and happy despite this misstep. When she didn’t know what his news was, he tisked. “Did you even check your socials today?” Marsh asked, rolling his eyes. “I made it official last night. I now have a boyfriend and had the best date of my life last night.” The theater star beamed a smile.

“I wouldn’t say dating, but we like… kissed and had a heart to heart! It was really nice and I really want it to work out.” Ophelia explained, before she gasped and put her hand over her mouth. He went on his first date with Jamie! That was exciting. “That’s great! I haven’t checked my social in like… almost three days, Marshall. I’ve been…. a little stressed out.” She explained, before something clicked in her mind. “Oh… have you worked things out with Owen? From what I’ve heard… Jamie made it a little bit worse with him, and I don’t know how you’re gonna manage to balance that one.”

At that, Marshall’s smile fell away. Yeah… Jamie’s article was… something. “I gave Jamie a lot of shit for that. Like a lot, a lot. I don’t think he’ll be doing anything like that ever again. But, Owen…” He sighed and shrugged sadly. “Even before the article, things were really bad. I think that bridge is totally burned now. He hates me and he’s really not the forgiving type. Unless you’re Trixie, I guess. Oh… the power of love, or at least sex. I loved him too, not like love love but you know, he was my only guy friend. One of my best friends. So it sucks…”

“Maybe you should try talking to him again? It’s worth a shot, isn’t it? Trixie and I are good now… Oh! That reminds me, she’s gonna join Candyland! I helped her work things out with Kylie, too so I think that helped out a lot.” Ophelia shrugged, and looked down at her phone. Then, she looked up, as if something had dawned on her. “Oh, man, Trixie. She’s totally at my house… Do you want to come over? Either way, I should get back… She was REALLY high last night.”

“Really?!” Marshall responded, his smile returning. “That’s awesome, I love Trix. Hmmm, we’ll have to think of a good candy name for her. Oh! That reminds me. The Candies have a new ship to help set sail! My dance partner Josie has some mystery crush, more info to be announced once I get it out of her.” He grinned impishly. “But sure, I’ll come along. We can just get our salads to go. Let’s get Trix her fave too. Wait — she got high?” Not like he was one to judge, given his recent encounters with Kit.

“She didn’t really have much of a choice, Kylie sort of forced her to take it, and then she was supposed to go back to the gym to fuck Owen, but Owen was gonna go to Jamie’s house, so he forced Trixie to come to my house and then Owen did go to Jamie’s house and… oh man, we have so much to talk about…”

“OWEN WENT TO JAMIE’S HOUSE?!” Oh shit, how did he not know that? Was he a bad boyfriend for not checking in? With this whole lunch thing taking up his thoughts, he'd hardly sent more than a good morning text. They certainly did have a lot to talk about.

A @smarty0114 & @GhostMami Collab
Featuring: JD & Noah
Location: The Hardy-Piccoli Manor

JD winced at his father’s words, spoken behind his back as he walked away. That whole interaction made his stomach hurt. Jesus, fuck, why did they have to be like that? How did they BOTH find out right away… it’s not like this was Dixon’s intention. He didn’t plan to kiss Noah until it was already happening, so how in the fuck did the universe find it fitting to have both of his parents know already? JD stole a glance backwards to see if his new friend had taken the out he had offered and if he was following along.

He was. Good. JD breathed a sigh of relief. Out of the viper’s pit and into the fire. Speaking of… what were they supposed to do now? He’d saved the lamb from the slaughter, but he couldn’t take him back to his room after what happened the last time… could he? No... Maybe. “Ermm…” The mental conflict made itself known by the uncomfortable noise that JD made. Shit, quick recovery time. “So… what’d you think?” Oof, did he want to know the answer to that? It was just the first thing that came to mind. “You did, uh, good.” He was aimlessly walking down the hallway at this point, avoiding the staircase leading to the floor where his room is.

“Oh, uh, thank you,” Noah said, nervous laughter slipping past his lips. JD standing before him, his green hair bright as ever, sent Noah’s stomach tumbling over itself. His hand found the back of his neck, where he rubbed the skin there in an attempt to distract himself from the absurd amount of awkward he’d gotten himself into. “You’re parents are like, really cool. They remind me of my uncle. He’s kinda crazy like that too,” Noah said, glancing up at JD’s eyes. His face went red when he realized what he’d said, and he quickly went to correct himself, his words catching as he stammered through them. “Well, like, not crazy. Just, different. They don’t ride the same wavelength that everybody else does.”

Dixon turned back to face Noah as he spoke. The nervous expression and fierce blush on his face softened JD’s own anxieties. Noah wasn’t judging them, he was terrified, and it was kind of cute. JD smiled, “Nah, you were right the first time, they’re kinda crazy.” He hoped that was as reassuring as it was meant to be. “They def don’t ride the same wavelength as everyone else… none of us do.” It would be a lie and a disservice to not include himself among their ranks. The apple didn’t fall far from the trees and all that. “But you don’t either, do you?” He didn’t, and that’s what JD liked about him. Noah was weird too.

Noah laughed. No, he definitely didn’t ride the same wavelength as everyone else. “No, I don’t think I do,” he said, smiling. It was simultaneously strange, and exhilarating to be around someone who got him like that. Katie was crazy in her own way, but at the end of the day, she was still Katie Callaghan. She was captivating and cool, and she could never really grasp what it was like to be him. JD though, for the first time ever, made him feel like there was someone else who understood what it was like to be a freak.

“So like, about earlier…” Noah trailed off but his meaning was clear. What the hell had that kiss meant? Did JD like him? Were they just friends with benefits now? Or was it something more? Possibilities ran through his head, chasing each other like a dog chases its tail. Where could this go? Where did he even want it to go?

“Good.” JD had responded when Noah agreed with the wavelength sentiment. The next thing he said, however, brought forth a sharp intake of air from the emo. Ah, there it was, the question of the hour. What about earlier? How was he supposed to respond to that? How could he explain why he jumped down the kid’s throat just because he had his hands in his hair. JD didn’t understand it himself, really. Feeling a bit like an animal backed into a corner, he responded quickly and harshly. “What about it?” Oh, yikes… that was unintentionally mean. Dixon cleared his throat uncomfortably and tried that again with a softer tone. “What… about it?”

Noah stared at JD, chewing his lip. What would Katie do, what would Katie do? Probably be straightforward. Katie was always straightforward, while Noah was always beating around the bush. He wished for a moment that he was a turtle. Turtles could just go into their shell when shit got weird, but he was a human, and humans very unfortunately did not have shells. “Nothing. It was just… I liked it.” Noah’s eyes found his shoes, his courage spent by that sentence. It was as if he was teetering on the edge of a cliff, trying desperately not to fall off into the abyss that was, “JD thinks I’m a freaking weirdo.”

“Good.” JD replied again simply, his tone far more neutral now. In all of his internal ramblings, he had never once considered if Noah liked being kissed. He just assumed that he had, clearly through confidence inherited from his revolutionary parents. Dixon watched the other boys reactions, his ever-permanent blush, the submissive way he stared at his shoes. It awakened that almost predatory lust he had felt earlier and, acting on impulse, he leaned forward and forced Noah’s face back upward with another kiss. JD kissed him until he backed Noah up against a wall and then stopped with a smirk. “Good. You’ll be my dirty little secret then. ‘Cept from them…” JD nodded towards the direction of the kitchen. “They already know. Mom’s a psychic witch and dad… well, you know.”

Noah grinned, despite the awkward memory of their interrupted kiss. He didn’t care that he was JD’s dirty little secret. At least he was his. He leaned forward, his lips interlocking with JD’s again because wow, he’d only been kissed twice but it was really starting to grow on him. It was as if everything before had been black and white, and now, colors were bursting from the seams, colors he hadn’t even known existed. It was electric and explosive and in every way, magical. Pulling away, his lips curled into a smile. “I like that. A lot.”

“Not even Katie, promise?” The smoldering way that JD looked at him through his eyelashes as he asked that was nothing short of manipulative. But it had to be. “I don’t like people knowing my business, or anything about me really, and we both know she’s got a big mouth.” More than just that, JD was not prepared for the world (see also: BHHS) to know about his… confused sexuality. “You’ll only get more if you can keep it a secret.”

How could he say no, when JD was looking at him like that? Did he want to tell Katie? His brain thought he did, but other parts of him were not so certain and those other parts were currently leading the charge. “Okay. Promise,” Noah said. For the first time in what felt like forever, he had something that made him really and truly happy. He wasn’t about to throw it away. Suddenly, every stupid romantic comedy he’d watched with Katie made sense. With JD standing in front of him, looking like that, he was pretty sure he’d jump in front of a train for the green haired musician.

This response pleased him. JD smiled, “Good boy.” he said as he turned to keep walking. This was going to be okay, sneaking around and enjoying each others company. Neither of them were very popular, they could keep things quiet and under the radar. This was… good. Very good. “C’mon, I’ll show you the rest of the house before dinner comes.”

Double posting like a real fucko, but if any of ya'll want to collab on something for this in the next couple of days while I'm off work and not a complete stressed mess over the move, hit me up via PM on here or DM on discord with your ideas. If not, I will wait until after life calms down and the time skip happens.

Time: Early Evening
Location: Düsseldorf, Germany → JFK Airport
Interactions: Monika (NPC)

The day had started like any other… Wolkfrik’s alarm went off, prompting a sleepy hand that flailed and slapped around the end table in search of silence. A deep sigh into his pillow followed that. Another sleepless night. Another morning waking up with the feeling of a lead weight sitting atop his heart. Wolf sat up slowly, moving in practiced sluggish, robotic motions. If he moved too fast, he might bring on a flare-up. With a groan and the cracking of a few joints, Wolf made his way to the bathroom.

The day had started like any other… but it was different for one very important reason. This was his last day in his shared flat, his last day in Germany, and, hopefully, his last day in ignorance. These thoughts ran through Wolfrik’s mind as he steadily swept a razor from his jawline to his cheek. He rinsed the blades off and clacked the razor along the side of the porcelain sink, watching thoughtfully as the water, shaving cream, and trimmed hairs swirled down the drain. It felt poetic, to see the water run clean and disappear down the tubes. Soon he would disappear too… in one way or another.

Now finished with his morning routine, Wolfrik took a good hard look at himself in the mirror. He looked as sick as he felt, but he hoped that the smudged eyeliner and punk aesthetic might mask the fact that those dark circles under his eyes were real, and yes, his complexion is actually that pale. Not to mention his weight… how much did he even weigh anymore? It’s not like he cared enough to own a scale and track it, and doctors appointments were a useless thing of the past now. Unless he could find a vampire doctor… did those exist? They had to, right? Maybe he’d find one in New York.

Sighing, Wolfrik opened the medicine cabinet and searched for a familiar crutch. The bottle was labeled to be aspirin, but the pills inside were a much, much stronger pain killer. His journey down the dark path started when his mother’s cancer returned for the second time… it was easy to skim a few pills from her collection. She was barely conscious enough to notice, and she was prescribed far more than she needed. Funny how just a few pills turns into a full blown dependency in the blink of an eye. Well, not so funny, really. Being an addict wasn’t fun, it cost Wolfrik a lot. It cost him his lover. But hopefully he’d be able to kick this habit, after he found his answers and his cure. Nodding, as if the thought was convincing enough to be prophecy, Wolf opened his mouth and downed a few pills before packing the rest away in his carry on bag.

The flat was suspiciously quiet. Wolf passed by Monika’s room to find the door open and the room empty. He rolled his luggage into the dining room to see a note on the table. His ex-girlfriend had gone out to get them coffees, since it was a “special occasion”. It read that she’d be back soon to drive him to the airport. She was so sweet, the incredibly kind soul that most thought to only exist in fairytales. He didn’t deserve her goodness, but he counted himself lucky that he didn’t lose her permanently. So very lucky…

The hustle and bustle of Düsseldorf International Airport rang out loud around the hypersensitive halfblood and his human companion. There were hundreds of people conversing with each other and rushing to make their flights, the beeps of machinery at the security gates, the hiss of the sandwich press at one of the airport’s many eateries, and countless other sounds. They were surrounded by endless noise, yet it still felt like they were the only two people in the room. Wolfrik stared at his childhood pal, ex-girlfriend, best friend, and the person that knew him the most in the world aside from his late mother.

Most people would describe Monika as a handsome woman, she was not searingly sexy by the usual standards, yet she was drop dead gorgeous to Wolfrik. Her physical appearance was pretty, but her heart was what made her so beautiful. Wolfie studied the brunette’s face, knowing her expressions well enough to recognize the worried crease between her eyebrows and shiny glint in her honey-brown eyes for what they were. She was upset, anxious, and forlorn. It broke his heart that he was the reason for that countenance… again. Goodbyes were hard, far too hard.

“Do you hate me, Mon?” Wolfrik asked quietly in their native language. She should hate him. This would be easier if she did. He deserved it, if she did. Wolfrik had let himself succumb to his pain, both emotional and physical, as he dove into drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. His vices had driven a wedge between them, ending their relationship, but thankfully not their friendship as well. He didn’t blame her for dumping him, she deserved so much more than the love of half a man.

The crease deepened as Monika’s eyebrows stitched together. For a moment, she looked livid, and then the expression fell away into a chuckle. “I could never hate you, Wolf, you stupid fuck.” The corner of her mouth pulled up in the faintest shadow of a smile. She closed the distance between them to rest her hand on his arm, giving it a gentle squeeze. “You need to get better, and staying here isn’t going to help you. My Wolfie has always done best when he has determination in his heart, and for the first time in a long while, I see that fire in your eyes again. This is the closest you’ve come to knowing your father, and I truly hope he is what you need him to be.”

Wolfrik chewed at his lip and struggled to make eye contact. If only she knew the depth of his despair. He wasn’t just a grief-stricken addict… he was dying. There wasn’t any way to get better, not unless he found some cure that he wasn’t even sure existed. He didn't know how much time he had left... but, she couldn’t know that. In the end, it would be best for him to leave this place and let her move on with her healthy, human life. Like father, like son, right? At least he was saying goodbye first, that’s more than this mysterious man ever gave his mother. “I hope so too.” Wolfrik said with a heavy sigh. “Mom loved him, and she had the best judge of character of anyone I know… so, he must not be that bad. Right?”

Monika pursed her lips together and shrugged. “Hopefully not…” She moved the hand that was resting on his arm to stroke his cheek in an almost maternal gesture. “But he did leave her without a word, so, guard your heart around him. I know you want to know your father, but it might be best to keep some walls up for a while. Protect yourself. You might look like a real hard punk, but you’re soft as flower petals underneath all that leather.” Monika smirked and lowered her hand to punch at his leather jacket-clad chest gently. “Hurry along now, or you’ll miss your plane.”

Wolfie nodded in understanding of everything she had just said. Mon might not have the full picture — like the fact that his father likely peaced out because he was a vampire — but her words were no less wise. Without any more conversation, for risk of being overcome with emotion and not being able to speak clearly, Wolfrik pulled her into an embrace. His frame was so gaunt that she was practically hugging herself when she wrapped her arms around him. He never used to be so thin. Wolf pulled away after a few moments of silent hugging, and then pressed a quick kiss to her forehead. He wished he could kiss more than just that, but those days were in the past. “It’s a one-way ticket, Mon. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone. Promise me you won’t wait up… promise me you will live your life.”

“It’s just a plane ride, Wolf. Don’t be so gloomy and final about it.” She responded with a light laugh. It sounded as hollowed out as he felt. With that, the pair parted ways and Wolfrik became one of the many passengers rushing down the terminal to make their plane in time. Wolf boarded flight 2486 from DUS to JFK without a second to spare. Monika was right, he almost missed the flight entirely. Monika was usually right.

He had purchased one of the cheapest tickets available, so Wolf was seated along the aisle with the least amount of legroom known to man. Wolfrik was rather tall, so the latter was particularly unfortunate. That said, he didn’t care all that much. Wolfrik had far too much on his mind to care for something as trivial as physical comfort, that was always hard to come by these days anyway, especially while sober.

Wolf pulled a book out of his carry on bag and flipped it open. For all intents and purposes, the book functioned as a journal. All of the pages were dated, some of them bore passing thoughts or short paragraphs of prose, but most held sketches. Wolfrik was always much better at speaking his mind through his artwork than he was with words. Tucked into the entry for the current day was a loose page from the sketchbook of another artist. It was his mother’s drawing, the one he’d used to track down the identity of his father after she had passed. Wolf ran his thumb along the paper reverently, pondering on what kind of man his father might be. His thoughts were interrupted by the words of a blonde flight attendant asking if she could get him a drink. He ordered whiskey, like a proper day-drinking man on his deathbed ought to.

The flight over the Atlantic was long. Long enough for Wolfrik to have a second and third shot of whiskey to take the edge off of his nerves, and then to have a meal and some more drinks afterwords. He wasn’t actually meeting his father yet, he’d planned some time for himself to relax before that moment, but he was nervous all the same. When the plane landed, Wolfrik filed out after the other passengers heading towards the baggage claim. He gathered his single, overstuffed suitcase, his acoustic guitar, and the carry on backpack he wore onto the flight, and he headed out of the airport.

Wolf waved his hand and flagged down a taxi, just like he saw in the movies. His destination was a hostel-style apartment, where he would live with four other roommates, and which was on the same train line as the tattoo shop he would be working at. It didn’t fully hit him until he was watching the cars slowly creep along in bumper to bumper traffic that he was in the United States now, for the first time ever. Land of the free, home of the brave, and the birthplace of the American dream. But was there a dream for someone like him to find here?
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